February 20th, 2017

It’s General McMaster for National Security Advisor

This sounds excellent:

General McMaster is a former commander of the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment, my old unit. I served in Iraq with a host of guys who’d served under McMaster in the Battle of Tal Afar in 2005, and almost to a man they loved him. I never served under him (I came along for the next deployment), but many of the people I respect the most were with him during one of the Iraq War’s most significant urban battles and came away deeply impressed.

…Indeed, I’d call McMaster the Neil Gorsuch of generals…

With the exception of his loyalty hire of Michael Flynn, Trump’s key generals — James Mattis, John Kelly, and now H.R. McMaster — represent the best of modern military leadership. Their presence in the government is deeply reassuring. It’s now incumbent on President Trump to heed their counsel and give them the level of authority that they have earned.

That’s high praise indeed, particularly considering the source—David French, who’s not exactly been what you’d call a Trump fan.

29 Responses to “It’s General McMaster for National Security Advisor”

  1. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Reportedly, McMaster’s primary focus is upon the threat from Russia. If so, I consider it, as a National Security Advisor… to be a misplacement of priorities. Russia is IMO the 4th most serious threat we face. Islam, China and the Left rate far above Putin. It will be interesting to see McMaster’s assessment of those threats.

  2. Oldflyer Says:

    The Trump detractors tend to simply ignore some his outstanding hires and appointments. I just do not believe that people of the quality he is surrounding himself with would agree without confidence in him, and in their authority.

  3. F Says:

    I don’t know much about him, but what I’ve seen so far I like. Of course I have not yet heard from Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer, so I’ll have to reserve judgement. . .

  4. OM Says:


    Do you think McMaster might know a bit more about the threat posed by Islam than you? And last time I checked the Left didn’t have access to nukes or standing armed forces. Get a grip.

  5. Montage Says:

    I’ve been watching CNN on and off today and their reporting on McMaster has been positive. Many guests feel he will be one of the more sensible voices on Trump’s team. Also his book Dereliction of Duty about LBJ and McNamara’s handling of Vietnam shows that he has a grasp on the abuse of power. I dislike Trump but this pick seems to be a good one on the surface. Much better than Flynn.

  6. OldTexan Says:

    Part of building a staff is having to hire ten to get five and weeding out those who don’t fit or work out and that was always my experience as a president of a growing corporation and I worked with a man who became one of the super wealthy and what I learned was don’t hang on to what doesn’t work. look at the big picture and keep on moving and never apologize for mistakes, just hire better and shut down anything that will hinder reaching your goal. Easier said than done and most in government don’t understand this at all.

    I think we might have a real leader in the Whitehouse for the first time in decades or maybe not, only time will tell but I like what I see. Reach out know you will make mistakes and get them behind you as soon as possible, always moving forward.

  7. groundhog Says:

    Putin is an ally for sure against ISIS. But that said, I think Stalin would be quite likely to be killing them too.

    When the bad is so bad, the bad will kill them too.

  8. Julian Tonning Says:

    I retired from the military a year before the Iraq war, and followed it very closely. McMaster is better than what they’re saying.

  9. Oldflyer Says:

    Couple of great comments at Instapundit by men who served with, or near, Gen McMaster.

    Groundhog, one telling comment was by a man who observed him interacting with “up and coming” foreign officers–the potential future leaders in their countries– who were in the U.S. for training. He observed that McMaster had an encyclopedic (my word) knowledge of the entire international scene and a complete grasp of of the issues in each country. He also said that the most heated exchanges during Q&A periods were with the Pakistanis in which he confronted them with honest, and apparently uncomfortable opinions. Don’t know where you get your impression; but, mine is that he understands the world, and knows where the threats are.

  10. junior Says:

    Russia is IMO the 4th most serious threat we face. Islam, China and the Left rate far above Putin.

    McMasters’s focus is on getting the military back into shape to fight a conventional war.

    1.) Islam – The public isn’t willing to put up with another Iraq-style invasion at the moment. And absent another Iraq-style invasion, we don’t need to key the entire military for counter-insurgency.
    2.) China – Many of the same changes that are made to configure the military to counter Russia will also work for countering China. Additionally, while China is getting grabby about chunks of ocean, Russia is getting grabby about populated land currently owned by neighboring countries.
    3.) The Left – Dealing with the Left is the responsibility of the political people. Or if the underground stuff from the ’70s starts up again, the FBI. It’s not the responsibility of the National Security Advisor.

  11. miklos000rosza Says:

    I’ve been reading, for my own reasons, a number of recent books about matters in Iraq and Afghanistan, and McMaster’s name has come up a number of times, always very positively. Not everyone is praised again and again for their insight and intelligence.

  12. n.n Says:

    Geoffrey Britain:

    The Left as in anti-native factions that have been a first-order cause of progressive wars, elective regime changes, extra-judicial trials, forced refugee crises, insourcing/outsourcing, [class] diversity, abortion rites, etc. That Left (and the Left-Right nexus)?


    What populated lands, or lands generally, has Russia grabbed?

    Other than, of course, Crimea, which is populated by Ukrainian refugees of a Western-backed coup?

  13. OM Says:


    It’s all just a little misunderstanding between Mother Russia and the Baltic states, Poland, Ukraine. The Crimea, well it was the fault of those Ukrainians! Right.

  14. Stubbs Says:

    I nearly ran off the road this morning when the NPR folks started praising the man. I think the fact that he had written a book critical of American politicians’ interference with the conduct of the Vietnam war was a plus in their minds. My guess is that they look forward to his conflict with Trump.

  15. Tatterdemalian Says:

    If they can’t prove he has a Russian connection, they will make one up.

    What can we do about it, call it “fake news?”

  16. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    OM @ 8:21,

    “Do you think McMaster might know a bit more about the threat posed by Islam than you?”

    Are you unaware of the flaw in logic known as “an appeal to authority”? Or just ignoring it in a futile attempt to ‘score’? Expertise that discounts fundamental aspects of an issue is expertise misused.

    And the Left is an internal enemy and that makes them a concern to any National Security Adviser.


    “McMasters’s focus is on getting the military back into shape to fight a conventional war.”

    That is the Joint Chief’s focus and the Secretary of Defense’s focus. The National Security Adviser’s focus is properly upon strategic threats to America.

    Addressing your points:
    1. Islam must first be identified as the source of Islamic terrorism. The effectiveness of whatever tactics are employed depends upon accurately identifying the source of a threat.
    2. Mostly agree. Tactically, upgrading our military applies also to China.
    3. Partly agree. The National Security Adviser has to have a clear vision of all threats, internal as well as external. Otherwise his advisement to the President will be flawed.

    Update: Just as I feared. McMaster thinks that Islam is a religion of peace:

    “groups like ISIL, who use this irreligious ideology, this perverted interpretation of religion to justify violence.” McMaster May 2016

    “we will defeat today’s enemies, including terrorist organizations like Daesh, who cynically use a perverted interpretation of religion to incite hatred and justify horrific cruelty against innocents.” — Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, speech to Virginia Military Institute, Center for Leadership and Excellence, November 21, 2016

    “If McMaster genuinely holds the view that the Islamic State is not Islamic, then he is a disastrous pick as National Security Adviser, and will continue the willful ignorance of the Obama administration, hamstringing efforts to understand, and counter effectively, the motives and goals of the enemy.” https://www.jihadwatch.org/201

  17. Cornhead Says:

    Nearly all of Trump’s appointments have been stars.

  18. Cornhead Says:

    And so many of our problems in the last 20 years are due to radical Islam. Trump and McMaster fix the problem.

    With 9 tanks, he destroyed 80 Iraqi tanks.

  19. groundhog Says:

    as to McMaster’s reference to Islam as a religion of peace — I’m not sure if active duty military leaders under Obama would be encouraged to take a contrary position to the Commander in Chief.

    When you’re on your own, you can take any public position, but anyone in uniform taking public position especially leadership is representing the views of the US military. If you’re told to teach a policy you teach it whether you agree with it or not.

    People in the military who don’t agree with policy, like changes on gays or women, are told to make it happen. Not your job to make your different opinions public if you have them. Privately of course, you can think what you want, and vote how you like.

  20. OM Says:


    An authority in his own mind.

  21. OM Says:


    And of course you did not consider the question, that McMaster may know more about Islam than you. How could that be? Since you after all are the authority on Islam.

  22. Eric Says:

    “I’m not sure if active duty military leaders under Obama would be encouraged to take a contrary position to the Commander in Chief.”

    Alternatively, McMaster, having been immersed in population-centric operations in Iraq, understands the distinction between the terrorists and the majority of Muslims and the need to utilize that distinction.

    “McMasters’s focus is on getting the military back into shape to fight a conventional war.”

    NSA works with but doesn’t control DoD.

    “And absent another Iraq-style invasion, we don’t need to key the entire military for counter-insurgency.”

    If McMaster’s focus were getting the military back into shape to fight a conventional war, then at minimum, he would be getting the military back into shape to conduct an “Iraq-style invasion”.

    If you mean the post-war stage of OIF, major combat operations and peace operations aren’t alternatives. They’re on the same continuum, unless one assumes US defeat in the MCO so that there will be no need for PO.

    At the same time, if an enemy should choose to resort to guerilla tactics at any stage, that shouldn’t cause an abandonment of US interests. Rather, like any kind of competition, US leadership and forces need to adapt to whatever the enemy does in order to champion US interests. It’s not either/or. Whether one considers COIN a conventional or unconventional capability, it’s a normal traditional and doctrinal military capability.

    US Army FM (field manual) 1:

    The Army’s contribution to joint operations is landpower. … Landpower includes the ability to … Establish and maintain a stable environment that sets the conditions for a lasting peace [and] …. Address the consequences of catastrophic events—both natural and manmade—to restore infrastructure and reestablish basic civil services.

    “The public isn’t willing to put up with another Iraq-style invasion at the moment.”

    That’s a political question with a political answer.

    In the first place, public disaffection over the Iraq intervention has been engineered by opposing propagandists carrying forward the proven Vietnam War template, rather than the mission itself. In reality, the Iraq intervention was justified in the first place and succeeding until Obama – an opposing propagandist in his own right – radically deviated.

    A political problem calls for a political solution. If an “Iraq-style invasion” is warranted to champion US interests, the lesson of Iraq is that opposing propagandists must be sufficiently counteracted to neutralize them in the politics.

  23. Ymarsakar Says:

    And of course you did not consider the question, that McMaster may know more about Islam than you. How could that be? Since you after all are the authority on Islam.

    McMaster knows more about Islam than G… have you ever considered that MCM knows more about Christ than OM?

  24. OM Says:


    Stick to the question or take another hike.

  25. Ymarsakar Says:

    Stick to the question

    You lack the authority to command answers to your questions, mr hypocrite.

    Either get some real authority or continue pretending your ideas are true.

  26. Ymarsakar Says:

    Btw, Eric going on and on about counter insurgency and propaganda reversion of the narrative, suddenly starts beginning to matter now that the DC authorities have changed seats, if only in a minor fashion.

    I find that pleasing that the naysayers suddenly can’t dismiss his material as being old news. Suddenly, the US might get involved in the ME again. This time, on somebody else’s side than siding with jihadists.

    First it was Bush II broke the US military in Iraq because of WMDs or some other lies that stopped Shinseki and Demoncrat generals from deploying more soldiers into a meat grinder. Then it was Hussein had “won Iraq”, something a Republican warmonger failed to do. Then it is… well what is next, could be fun.

  27. OM Says:

    Stick to the question, it was about McMaster Islam and Geoffrey. Your ego is the size of the a planet, Jupiter-like, all gas nothing solid. Enjoy your walk

  28. OM Says:


    Some background on McMaster


  29. Eric Says:


    An interesting exercise is catching the “naysayers” who don’t come off as rabid leftists yet nevertheless reiterate premises that restrict robust American primacy.

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